You would think that after the monumental shitfight that was Fyre Festival 2017, dodgy promoters would be slightly deterred from trying to follow suit — but apparently not.
The latest Fyre-esque disaster has landed today in the form of The Gathering festival in South Carolina. The festival, which was being put on by little-known promoters EDM United Events, had apparently locked in established acts such as ATliens, Leah Culver, Ralph Louie and a stack more to play at their inaugural event a few days ago in the town of St George.
According to the poster, The Gathering promised to bring “four themed stages of sound”, “twenty amazing DJs,” and “50,000 watts of sound”. United Events also promised “amazing lighting that will melt your face, visuals that will blow your mind, an oxygen bar, food vendors, fire dancers, and a beer cave.” Hell, they even claimed to be providing breakfast for everyone.
According to their Eventbrite page, tickets for the event ranged from $10 to $145 — with a strict no refund policy (I wonder why.)
There was plenty of hype on social media for it, with a number of the billed DJs urging their fans to buy tickets. Up until a few days before the event, United Events main man Andrew Murdock was still promoting it. But the grand illusion unraveled when punters rocked up to the festival grounds and found…this:
According to a post on the Facebook page EDM Confessions, that bunch of ply wood was apparently the “main stage.” But wait, there’s more:
That was one of the other four “themed stages of sound” that Murdock had promised — presumably the theme was “shitty”.
Even more bizarrely, it emerged that some of the the booked DJs actually had to build the stages themselves. “I didn’t get paid for DJing or setting up,” said DJ Josh Ware. “Me and like four or five dudes are the only reason anyone had a stage to even play on. I’m giving him until Friday to pay me. I don’t want my money from anyone else but Andrew or his wife.”
This was backed up by a number of comments on furious Facebook posts that were being shared around:
Headiner Atliens were as clueless as anyone else, posting on Facebook: “We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into…”
At the time of writing, Murdock’s/United Events’ Twitter is still online — although hasn’t tweeted since before the event — but their official Facebook page has been completely deleted. There’s also no word on whether any of the artists were paid, or whether anyone will be taking legal action — let alone where the hell Andrew Murdock is.
But we have a feeling this won’t be the last we hear about it.